DCA Hosts the 2007 Connie Woodruff and Wynona M. Lipman Awards

 11 Organizations From Across the State Receive Honors

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – In celebration of Women’s History Month, Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin today announced the recipients of the 2007 Connie Woodruff and Wynona M. Lipman Awards.  The annual ceremony, sponsored by DCA’s Division on Women and the New Jersey Advisory Commission on the Status of Women, honors outstanding New Jersey organizations that support women.

“The organizations being honored today represent an extraordinary group of women who push our state forward,” Governor Jon S. Corzine said. “It is clear that the strength, compassion and drive embodied by Ms. Woodruff and Senator Lipman continue to thrive among the women of New Jersey.”

“Women’s History Month commemorates the remarkable women throughout history that have impacted our lives,” Commissioner Levin said.  “The Wynona Lipman and Connie Woodruff Awards honor today’s history makers - women of strength, vision and character - that work to make life better for all New Jerseyans.” 

The Connie Woodruff Award is named in honor of the late Connie Woodruff, the first Chairperson of the New Jersey Advisory Commission on the Status of Women and past President of the National Association of Commissions on Women. The Wynona M. Lipman Award is named for the late Senator Wynona M. Lipman, the first African American woman elected to the New Jersey State Senate, and champion of women’s rights, minorities and children.  See attached list for more information on the awardees. 

As part of today’s award ceremony, Commissioner Levin also recognized Barbara Haney Irvine, Executive Director of the New Jersey Historic Trust, a DCA affiliate, for being named a 2007 National Women’s History Project honoree for her efforts to preserve women’s historic sites throughout New Jersey.  Prior to joining DCA, Irvine founded the Alice Paul Centennial Foundation and spearheaded a national campaign to preserve Paulsdale, Alice Paul’s birthplace and home in New Jersey.  She is also the founder of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, a national organization dedicated to preserving women’s history sites and interpreting women’s history at historic sites throughout the United States.

2007 Connie Woodruff and Wynona M. Lipman Awardees

Connie Woodruff Award

Postpartum Support International
Postpartum Support International offers support, education and referral information to healthcare providers and consumers on perinatal mood disorders.  Approximately 15 percent of all women will experience postpartum depression following the birth of a child. Up to 10 percent will experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy.  PSI works to increase awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional changes that women experience during pregnancy and postpartum.  The organization’s goal is to provide current information, resources, education, and to advocate for further research and legislation to support perinatal mental health.

Wynona M. Lipman Awards

Mentoring Program

Burlington County Advisory Council on Women
Burlington County

In 1995, the Burlington County Advisory Council on Women created an annual mentoring event at the end of Take Your Daughters to Work Day known as “Reach for the Stars.”  The goal of the event was to introduce young women to alternative career choices for women by bringing them together with professionals in various fields.  More recently, the event has become a joint effort with Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors in Moorestown, NJ.  Lockheed Martin has opened its doors to the event for 9th and 10th grade young women to learn about non-traditional careers.  Students travel to the facility and spend the day with women working in non-traditional jobs.  The goal is for each student to leave with fresh ideas about what is available to them in the working world.

Community Service

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Atlantic City Chapter
Atlantic County
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities. The Atlantic City Chapter provides an extensive array of public services and programs to promote human welfare for women, students, children and families.  Programs include adult literacy, tutoring, health screenings, teenage pregnancy and parenting, support for black single mothers, voter registration, and food and clothing drives for local community charities.

Violence Against Women Program

Woodbridge Township Domestic Violence Response Team
Middlesex County
The Woodbridge Township Domestic Violence Response Team, established in 1993, is made up of community volunteers that provide critical support to domestic violence victims.  Volunteers, ranging in age from 20 to 60 years old, are committed to breaking the cycle of domestic violence in the community.   The team works to educate the community about domestic violence and helped organize Woodbridge Township’s “Communities of Light,” a project benefiting Women Aware, Inc.

Community Service

Middlesex County Substance Abuse Coalition of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Middlesex County
Middlesex County
The Middlesex County Substance Abuse Coalition is dedicated to reducing substance abuse, especially among young adults, through a variety of services.  The Coalition hosts an annual women’s conference for high school students.  The conference recognizes that young women face many hardships throughout their high school career, and aims to show them they have a voice and can make healthy decisions while becoming an adult.  The Coalition selects 10 female students from participating Middlesex County school districts and students are given the opportunity to participate in workshops on topics including body image, underage drinking, dating violence, abusive relationships and bullying.

Mentoring Program

Major Group Foundation’s Youth Connection After School Literacy Program
Somerset County

The Youth Connection After School Literacy Program targets at-risk youth and teens through academic and self-improvement activities designed to help youth gain control over their lives through improved academic performance and heightened self-esteem.  YCASL provides mentoring, tutoring and enrichment education in creative math, computer literacy, choice mentoring, life skills development, proper nutrition and recreation to equip youth to compete in the academic world, function successfully in the workplace and participate in a healthy family environment. 

Service in Education

Lauren Rose Albert Foundation
Camden County
The Lauren Rose Albert Foundation was established in 1999 as a private, nonprofit organization to help women create better lives for themselves and their families.  LRAF provides programs that respond to women’s unmet needs, such as supporting women who are enrolled in higher education by funding grants for college textbooks.  The program pays for college textbooks for income-eligible women who work, support their family and attend a participating college.  Current participating colleges and universities include Burlington County College, Camden County College, Cumberland County College, Gloucester County College, Salem County College and Rowan University.
Violence Against Women Program

180 Turning Lives Around
Monmouth County
The Makeda Program of 180 Turning Lives Around addresses issues of domestic violence and sexual assault across cultural differences and language barriers by offering specialized services for minority women in Neptune, Asbury Park and surrounding areas.  Prior to this program, victims in these communities rarely sought services due to a lack of relevant delivery modes and the social stigma of receiving counseling.  Drawing on a community’s cultural values and experiences, the Makeda Program offers culturally relevant services to these victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.   

Political Empowerment

Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey
The New Jersey Women’s Political Caucus is a multipartisan grassroots organization that promotes the participation and involvement of women of all ages in the political process. The organization was founded in 1972 to increase women’s participation in the political process and create a power base to achieve equality for all women.  WPC-NJ recruits, trains and supports qualified progressive women candidates for elected and appointed offices at all levels of government.

Service in Healthcare

Samaritan Hospice
Burlington County
A large majority of Samaritan Hospice’s employees are female, including 89 percent of the organization’s leadership team.  Samaritan is a leader in hospice, palliative care, grief support, education, advocacy and other life-enhancing services.  Samaritan provides caregivers – approximately 59 percent to 75 percent women – with education, comfort, emotional and spiritual support, and much needed respite.  In 2006, 86 percent of all Samaritan support group attendees were women.

Job Training and Professional Development Program

Displaced Homemakers Network of New Jersey, Inc.
Middlesex County

The Displaced Homemakers Network of New Jersey, Inc. advocates on behalf of the state’s 14 Displaced Homemakers Centers and the women they serve.  The programs provide a variety of services to thousands of women including vocational and personal assessments and exploration, setting short and long term goals, job development, computer training, employment assistance, financial planning, and family law and legal clinics.  These comprehensive services enable women to obtain employment and empower them to become independent and self-sufficient.